Winter Vehicle Emergency Check List
By Troy Edwards, Sr. Det. (Ret.)
As hard as it may be to believe, winter is upon us and with that comes snow, sleet and ice. Unfortunately, so do accidents and emergency situations. Many people think that they are prepared for any possible situation that may occur when they are driving but many times downplay the importance of being prepared or overlook many basic things that could be invaluable in an emergency situation.
Below are some items that I strongly suggest that you keep in the emergency roadside kit of your vehicle during winter. It is a basic list and is not the end-all be-all but can really help:
*Battery powered radio and extra batteries. There are also hand cranked versions available. Car batteries can and will die. You will want to know what is happening and stay connected with civilization if you are stuck. Can also help with moral support and loneliness.
*Flashlight and extra batteries. There are also hand cranked versions available. Will help with signaling for help.
*Blankets or sleeping bags. If stuck in your vehicle for an extended amount of time, you will run out of gas if you are running the heater. When this happens, you will want to make sure that you can fight hypothermia.
*Jumper Cables. Obviously are good to have on hand all times of the year but in a survival situation, they can also be used to start a fire.
*Fire Extinguisher. Good to have in your vehicle at all times.
*Bottled water. Remember you can go weeks without food, but not water. This is crucial in all survival situations. You can also add a small water purification device in your pack. They are inexpensive and small so they don’t weigh much or take up a lot of space.
*Non-perishable, high energy foods such as raisins, granola bars, peanut butter, etc. Can goods are great because they are in a durable container and can last longer. These types of items are small and light weight. They can give you the energy you need to push on plus boost morale.
*Compass and road maps. Gps can fail, especially if the power on your vehicle dies. Learn how to read a map as well.
*Dry clothing, gloves, boots, socks. Clothing gets wet and you do not want to succumb to hypothermia.
*Sand or cat litter for traction
*Rope. Has so many different uses.
*Large black plastic trash bags. Can be used for insulation, covering windows to block out the sun, transporting items or even water collection.
*Tow rope or chains
*Coffee can, matches and candles. A MacGyver stove that you can use to cook, boil water and drink out of.
*Knife. For protection, hunting, MacGyver type projects.
*Flares for signaling
*Tire repair kit
*First Aid Kit. Make sure that they contain an assortment of bandages, aspirin, Aleeve, Pepto, hand sanitizer, tweezer, thermometer, eye drops